ARSENAL VS. LIVERPOOL
| Sunday, February 4th |
Premier League | Emirates Stadium
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
Is anyone else sick of playing Arsenal? It might just be me. I have a Mikel Arteta threshold per season that I am coming very close to hitting. Regardless, Liverpool head to the Emirates to play the Gunners for the 200th time in the league.
Liverpool have jumped ahead of the former leaders in recent weeks, and right now sit five point clear of them. A win would help widen the gap between Liverpool and Manchester City and everyone else.
Arsenal fans remain salty about Liverpool’s gritty 2-0 victory in the FA Cup only a few short weeks ago, so revenge might be on their minds. However, the player potentially on the pitch with the biggest bone to pick will be Darwin Núñez against the woodwork, which cruelly denied him a record four times midweek against Chelsea. Unfortunately, the foot injury he obtained during that frustrating personal battle might keep him on the bench or even out of the team altogether.
The Reds have won four Premier League games in a row, and even without the help of talisman Mohamed Salah, they look on the top of their game. The announcement of Jürgen Klopp’s departure was followed by two games where Liverpool have scored nine goals. This will be the first time the Klopp Good Bye Tour leaves Anfield, so hopefully they can maintain that enthusiasm away from home.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Jones, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Jota, Gakpo, Diaz
The list of Liverpool’s unavailable players remains long, but one name not on it is Trent Alexander-Arnold. He’ll likely replace the triumphant Conor Bradley who took his place midweek against Chelsea, scoring his first goal and racking in two assists besides.
Wataru Endo remains on international duty as Japan move onto the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup. Mohamed Salah is back on Merseyside recovering from an injury he received during the group stages of the African Cup of Nations. Egypt has since been knocked out of the group stage, so at this point, his international duties are no longer relevant.
Kostas Tsimikas, Stefan Bajcetic, Ben Doak, Joel Matip, and Thiago Alcantara all remain unavailable on Sunday. Alexis Mac Allister picked up a slight knee injury in the closing minutes of the Chelsea game and is doubtful.
For Arsenal, Fabio Vieira and Jurrien Timber will be unavailable for Arteta. Takehiro Tomiyasu is with Endo fighting for Japan.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “What we learn is that we have to be much more dominant in possession. There it was a typical away game. Yes, we had a few problems here and there, that’s true, and it’s a cup game, it’s all about the result, stuff like this. But I think everybody who saw the game knows that Arsenal could have scored before we scored and that could have given the game a completely different direction obviously.”
Mikel Arteta: “What we need to do is play the way we played in the last two games against them, and be more efficient in the areas that are going to decide the game. [I’m] very excited, it’s always great to prepare a game against Liverpool; how good they are, they dominate every aspect of the game. We play at home, and what I sense is a real sense of positivity and enthusiasm around the place.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor. Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn. Fourth official: Craig Pawson. VAR: David Coote. Assistant VAR: Tim Wood.
If you haven’t done so already, take a moment to sign up for an SB Nation account and join the community at The Liverpool Offside, where we’ll bring you and your fellow Reds fans from around the world full coverage of every Liverpool match from the 2023-24 season in the Premier League, Europa League, and domestic cups along with breaking news, insight and opinion, tactical discussion, and post-match reaction